University of Iowa Honors Theses

Major Department

Chemical Engineering

College

College of Engineering

Degree

BSE (Bachelor of Science in Engineering)

Session and Year of Graduation

Fall 2016

Honors Major Advisor

Audrey Butler

Thesis Mentor

Julie Jessop

Abstract

Engineers need to understand how engineering relates to business to graduate from an ABET accredited program. However, a number of second-semester seniors struggled to understand concepts that are covered in the introductory finance course at the business school. There are options available for students to learn about some of the concepts that they might encounter in industry and in class projects, but these materials take time. I created a module that was designed to take less than 40 minutes to reduce the time and stress over learning the core business concepts. The module covers concepts such as interest, present value, and depreciation, which were covered in engineering and business courses. Users can check their understanding of the materials covered with a four question post-module quiz. To supplement the core module, I designed another module that provided information on performing a sensitivity analysis. An Excel worksheet supports the module to provide additional terminology and a worked-out example. Both modules provide a sustainable method of delivery for all disciplines. From a pre-quiz given at a guest lecture to senior chemical engineering students, a gap exists between a student’s actual and perceived level of comprehension of economic concepts. Review of the module should narrow or eliminate this gap for many students. However, there is a mental block preventing many students from even attempting to learn more about the financial aspect of a project. Students not planning on pursuing a career in industry have shown an increased level of apathy towards learning about business concepts. Alumni could play a vital role in showing the importance of learning the content covered by the modules. Continued repetition and early exposure to economic concepts will help encourage undergraduate engineers to create a business foundation before launching their careers.

Keywords

ABET, Engineering Economy, Module

Total Pages

17 pages

Copyright

Copyright © 2016 Alexandra Bartlett

COinS
 

URL

http://ir.uiowa.edu/honors_theses/11